The Tarot’s Aces can be difficult cards for some people to interpret. One problem is that these cards are pretty much given only positive interpretations in books about the cards. But there are no good cards or bad cards. They all have a spectrum of meaning. So here is one way to see both good and bad aspects of the Aces: We can consider them to be about “self” and then combine “self” with a keyword from the appropriate suit. Doing so, we can come up with some interesting ideas for these cards.
Ace of Wands:
The power and energy of this suit leads us to a couple of keys for this card. First, there’s self-empowerment. That’s on the good side of the spectrum. Then on the bad side, there’s self-aggrandizement, which is the attempt to increase one’s own power, usually aggressively, or to perpetrate an illusion of it.
Ace of Cups:
The emotional aspect of the suit of cups implies that its Ace can be about self-love. This can be a good thing when it involves caring about and taking responsibility for yourself, and it’s also a vital factor in our ability to truly love another person. However, self-love becomes negative in its degenerate and debased form of Narcissism.
Ace of Swords:
The self-knowledge we may assign to this Ace can call to mind the Ancient Greek aphorism, “Know thyself.” However, this card can be a problem when it indicates self-absorption, i.e., thinking that everything is about “me”.
Ace of Pentacles:
Self-sufficiency, which we might see in this Ace, is generally a good thing. But the Ace of Pentacles can veer into the darkness when it says that someone has a sense of entitlement, which means thinking, “I deserve everything” with a sense of not caring what other people want, need, or deserve. (This is part of the problem with many of the proverbial “1%” that the OWS movement is protesting.)